A Saskatchewan man has been cast for a role in one of HBO’s most popular crime drama series.
Joel D. Montgrand plays Eddie Qavvik in True Detective: Night Country, which is the fourth season of the series.
Montgrand is member of Peter Ballentyne Cree Nation, originally from Sandy Bay and spent a lot of his youth in La Ronge. His love for acting sparked in a unique way while he was attending St. Mary’s High School in Prince Albert.
“Grade 12 of high school they did this play Jesus Christ Superstar, and I auditioned as a joke,” said Montgrand. “Everyone tried out for it, and I didn’t want to be the only person who didn’t and Mrs. Moon the drama teacher, she was a terrible casting director, and she gave me one of the leads.” Montgrand said while laughing.
After his first role in high school Montgrand was hooked and continued doing community theatre over the next 12 years, before travelling the world.
When Montgrand found out he had been cast as Qavvik he said he was working on an acting side-job when he saw that he missed a call from his agent.
“We were on break, and I saw that I missed a call from my agent, so I called her back and everyone heard me screaming from across the building I was jumping up and down like yeah! So thrilled, like oh my god they’re taking me to Iceland! It was crazy,” said Montgrand.
True Detective: Night Country was filmed in parts of Iceland, set to look like Alaska and Montgrand said it wasn’t nearly as cold as La Ronge in the winter.
“In my off time I took myself around the country and I drove onto the north coast and the south coast, and it is an incredible country, incredible people, really friendly,” Montgrand said.
Qavvik means wolverine in the Iñupiaq language and Montgrand describes the character as morally centred and a person that was raised by strong matriarchs.
True Detective: Night Country officially premiered on January 14, and can be streamed on Crave. Montgrand is also getting ready for the release of Avatar: The Last Airbender, where he plays the character Hakoda, that Netflix TV series is set to debut February 22.
Montgrand has a podcast called Actors and Ancestors, which is a great resource for aspiring indigenous actors. On his podcast he has conversations with other Indigenous actors, talks back to industry stereotypes and looks to the future of Indigenous peoples on the screen.
(Photo courtesy of IMDb.com)